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Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
Wine tour operator, wine writer and lapsed physiotherapist. "Nature abhors a vacuum. I personally hate dusting."


Sunday, December 22, 2013

New Zealand Rose Wines for Summer

Some years ago, Rosés were quite rare and largely undrinkable.  However, now that summer is kicking in, the shelves are steadily filling with a number of very respectable light reds vinted from grape varieties such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah, and even Cabernet Sauvignon.  Plus the really good thing is, in warmer weather you can chill many of them with a clear conscience.

Rosés are made by crushing red grapes, then leaving the juice on the skins for a short period (as little as 12 hours) to extract a minimum of colour and maximum grape juice flavours before pressing and racking off into fermentation tanks.  The resulting wines are light, often blush pink and have red fruit flavours of strawberries, plums and raspberries.  These are crisp, refreshing drink-young wines, which will not benefit from cellaring.  They also come in a spectrum of sugar level from dry to medium sweet.  Buyer beware.  It may be lolly water or Pinot-Lite depending on the whim of the winemaker.
The sweeter Rosé styles can tolerate chilling before serving, but the more delicate dry, to off-dry Rosé, could be cooled in the fridge for no more 30 minutes.

Food matches – BBQ tuna, salmon, crayfish, prawns, chicken, crab, spiced rare lamb.  And here comes summer! Whoo Hoo!  Here’s a selection, from dryer to sweeter, and finishing with a fantastic bubbles.

Wooing Tree Central Otago Rosé 2013 $NZ 28
Dry and crisp. Flavours of red plum and strawberry.

Bélouvé Côtes De Provence Rosé (France) 2012 $NZ 24
Cabernet, Grenache and Syrah go into the blend for this French Rosé from Provence.  Clean ripe flavours and a lengthy palate.

Soho Waiheke Rosé 2013 $NZ 26
Hand-picked Waiheke Island fruit – Merlot and Malbec are blended to make this red fruit cocktail of flavours. Cherries, red berry fruit and plum flavours with crisp acidity.

Kate Radburnd Hawkes Bay Berry Blush Rosé 2013  $NZ 16
A Hawkes Bay Rosé from Pask winemaker Kate Radburnd.  This one is just off-dry, with red berry fruit ripeness and soft acid finish.
Marques de Carceres Rioja Rosado (Spain) 2012 $NZ 22
Two typical Rioja red grapes-  Tempranillo and Grenache are blended to create this wine.  Mild oaky flavours, and a rich just off-dry ripe palate of plums and strawberries.

Quartz Reef Rosé Methode Traditionelle  Central Otago $NZ 40
100% organic Pinot Noir, and aged for 24 months. Rich and rounded with a lingering finish.  A lovely elegant bubbly for the summer season.
These wines are stocked by Glengarry. 

Disclaimer: I work in part time retail at Glengarry Grey Lynn. 
Phil Parker is a wine writer and operates Fine Wine Tours in Auckland.